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Brian's Class Materials- SPRING 2008 - SEYS 778

SEYS 778 Home

Spring 2008

 SEYS 778 – Seminar Research in Science Education II

Wednesday 7:10 pm to 9:40 pm

Powdermaker Hall Room 020

Overview of Data Collection (I)

To this point, you have decided what your study is, submitted a proposal for the spring academic semester, and considered the sample and kind of data you will use in your investigation.

Data is the information you collect to analyze in your study. The first step is to determine the sources of your data.  Depending on the nature of your investigation,  the data may be numerical or in verbal form.  The instrument used to gather the data often falls into the following categories:

1. Observation form with attributes being studied listed.

2. Interview – Formal, with specified questions, or open-ended.

3. Questionnaire

4. Written test

5. Primary and secondary source records

6. Primary and secondary source documents

7. Archives and other reputable publications

8. Videotapes

9. Audiotapes and analysis of transcripts

Task #1: Set up “categories” in which your data will fall.

Consider all possible categories (variables) you might need for examining the information/data related to your study such gender, age, grade level, socio-economic status, demographics, grades, test scores.  Further, think about how the data you collect might be organized to provide more information.  Would it be advantageous to group data using a timeline, or divide the data into subgroups (e.g. class mean and subgroups of students in the upper, middle and lower third to look at differences between subgroups)? If the data is verbal, how should you arrange and collect the responses to obtain the most information?

Task #2:  Set up tabulation process.

After collecting the data,  tabulation is the act of organizing it in a logical format for analysis. It can be done mechanically (by hand) and  by computer.   In many cases,  researchers design tally sheets for recording their results.

Focus question:

What data are you going to collect for your study? What sources will your data come from?  How do you plan to organize this data once it is gathered?


STUDY:  Working title of your study here:

Group activity:   Please describe the nature of your study to others in the group. Clarify questions that come up at this time related to the study’s rationale, objective(s) and procedural methods raised by  peers who may see issues more objectively than you. Each person should take a turn at this before discussing Task #1.   

Data sources and possible categories of data for your study.   Describe how the data (and/or the categories) address the purpose of your research to the members.  Your peers should agree that the data categories are the most appropriate ones for addressing the aim/objectives of your research.

What are the categories (numerical, quantitative…if quantitative, describe how data will be collected and coded) ie. How will you collect,  store (tally) and analyze the categories of data you identified above?